More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
4.05

Awesome: 20.51%
Worth A Look64.1%
Average: 15.38%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 9 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Lu Over the Wall by Jay Seaver

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by alejandroariera

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Peter Sobczynski

Justice League by Peter Sobczynski

Mumon: The Land of Stealth by Jay Seaver

Geek Girls by Jay Seaver

Fashionista by Jay Seaver

I Love You, Daddy by Rob Gonsalves

Jailbreak by Jay Seaver

Attraction (2017) by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed


Dear Frankie
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

"Faraway worlds"
4 stars

Dear Frankie has the same plucky charm, and warm blend of humour and heartbreak, as last year’s In America.

Set in Scotland, Dear Frankie centres on a tight family unit spanning three generations. Whenever the past threatens to catch up with single mother Lizzie Morrison (Emily Mortimer), she uproots her mum (Sharon Small) and son Frankie and they leave town. Nine year-old Frankie (Jack McElhone, from Young Adam) is deaf. Round-faced and withdrawn, he’s a “champion lip-reader” who prefers not to speak and keeps his hearing aid resolutely switched off.

Arriving in a bleak coastal village outside Glasgow, Frankie is happy to be by the ocean. The sea obsesses him, mainly because his absent dad works on a ship. Or so Lizzie tells him. Frankie hasn’t seen his dad since he was very young, although they correspond regularly by mail. Now his father’s ship is coming to town. How can Lizzie get around the simple truth that Frankie’s dad won’t be on it?

Dear Frankie began life as a short film script, but first-time director Shona Auerbach and producer Caroline Wood worked closely with screenwriter Andrea Gibb to mould it into a feature. The movie deftly shifts between the worlds of children and adults, without belittling or exaggerating either of them.

The visuals are as fluid as the storytelling. Auerbach started her career as a stills photographer, and she also acted as cinematographer on the movie. It flows beautifully, for which editor Oral Nottie Ottey must share credit. Auerbach has a photographer’s eye for the ordinary, and she highlights the vibrancy and diversity of a simple image like the inside of a fish tank.

Melodrama intrudes on Dear Frankie’s gentle pace towards the end - we even have that old staple, the unnamed terminal illness, to contend with. Nevertheless, the actors kept me involved. Emily Mortimer’s delightful work in Lovely & Amazing and Bright Young Things did not prepare me for her heartfelt performance; her confrontation with Frankie over a locked wardrobe is breathtaking. Lizzie lies to her son, can be desperate and manipulative and unfriendly, but we never lose sight of the mother’s love that motivates her. As her son, McElhone is also likeable, and natural enough not to hit us over the head with his character’s deafness.

Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) is the rough-edged seaman that Lizzie finds to pose as Frankie’s dad for a day. Butler’s playing a man without past, present or future. On paper, his rugged Prince Charming could have stepped from a Mills and Boon novel. Butler turns the role into something more interesting. He undercuts his charm with a shifty look and calculating manner; he looks over Lizzie’s modest flat as if he’s casing a bank before a heist.

Dear Frankie is a small movie that encompasses large themes: truth, family, loneliness, and the search for identity. Stimulating and kind, the movie also benefits from the poignant musical score of Alex Heffes. An obvious labour of love for the filmmakers, Dear Frankie is well worth seeking out.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9162&reviewer=104
originally posted: 04/19/05 12:54:11
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Boston Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Boston Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/17/05 Ang Excellent story and not too sappy! I loved it. 5 stars
7/24/05 jcjs33 i would've ended it obviously differently, slowish but excellent 5 stars
7/16/05 Irene Great movie; loved Gerard, and at 59 I thought my hormones had died, but he got them going. 4 stars
4/27/05 Jeanette Gerard Butler and the whole cast were terrific. What a wonderfully well written script. 5 stars
4/20/05 Krisan awsome 5 stars
4/16/05 Carol Teasley Wonderful Movie. I loved it. 5 stars
3/16/05 Diane A jewel. Wonderfully acted, great onscreen chemistry between Mortimer and Butler. 5 stars
3/10/05 Kristina Williams Gerard is smoking hot 5 stars
9/08/04 J. Lucas Overall, this movie was great. A bit slow in parts, but a great story. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  04-Mar-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Jul-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Apr-2005


Directed by
  Shona Auerbach

Written by
  Andrea Gibb

Cast
  Emily Mortimer
  Gerard Butler
  Sharon Small
  Jack McElhone
  Mary Riggins
  Sean Brown



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast